Portable Library For The Forest

2014-04-05

Himalayan News Service

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This book is a valuable resource tool for foresters, and any enthusiast of the field, containing wide range of information on forest science. Foresters, by very nature of their profession, are supposed to be working deep in the forests, dangerous slopes and untrodden trails. Handbooks like this one are the practical library they can have access while in the field.

Thus, the value of this book lies in the fact that it will serve as a tool of ready reference during assignments. In addition, teachers and students of forestry will also find it equally useful.

The book appears to be a huge compilation of glossaries on various aspects of forest science in the first glance. However, given the wide areas it tries to touch upon, it is simply impossible to dwell on great depths and details. In other words, it is designed to best suit the foresters in the field where one has neither time nor comfort to indulge in lengthy studies on a topic like one does at the library or home.

The book has been painstakingly and meticulously compiled by including as much relevant information as possible. This serves rather as a quick-view info tool rather than the lengthy literature on different aspects of forestry. In broader view, the book has been divided into 33 main chapters under which a number of sub-chapters appear. The feature of each sub-chapter is that information is compact, concise and brief. That is necessary as the book deals with hundreds of such topics.

It contains valuable collection of the data on different aspects of forestry in tabulation and charts. Such vast wealth of information can only come from one who has access to official source. Dr Swoyambhu Man Amatya, who had a long stint at Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, is the right man with right access for this purpose. The compilers not only have access to information treasure trove but also rightly know how it should be presented to best suit the practical purpose of a forester. The purpose of this publication would be fulfilled if it reaches the hands of every forester as his guide book.

The book starts with the background information of Nepal which covers geographical features, climatic nature, geology and the types of soils found. The book dives into real forest topic from the fourth chapter and continues till the end. The fifth chapter introduces Silviculture which is defined as the art of raising and harvesting forest products and a basic tool of forest management. There are so many technical aspects associated with it. Forest management aspects are dealt with in great details right up to the 24th chapter.

Chapter six dwells on silvicultural systems followed by forest regeneration, forest nurseries, plantation forest, tending operations and forest fires in the ensuing sections. The thirteenth chapter introduces forest inventory which is all about data related to forest land and forest products. They include survey, research, measurement and other numerical evaluations of forests. Methods of data collection and analysis are described in detail with the application of related mathematical tools. Topics of this nature continue till the 18th chapter and may not be grasped easily by non-technical readers.

The 19th chapter deals with agroforestry which ranges from home garden to trees grown around agricultural land. Commercial potential of such forest products has been analysed. The 21st chapter presents very informative lists of non-timber forest products. Local names of the species, their botanical names, family and traditional uses have been presented. Chapter 22 lists Nepalese fodder trees and their nutrient contents. Chapter 23 is about bio-technology and 24th chapter is dedicated to tree improvement techniques. The next section deals with remote sensing methods used to collect forest data. Remote sensing includes aerial photography, satellite imaging and use of radar to assist in data gathering.

The following chapters deal with topics including financial analysis of tree growing, wildlife management, watershed management, global warming and climate change, carbon sequestration and environmental protection. The book leaves you impressed with such a wide range of topics it has managed to cover. The aim is to assist the foresters in the field with a portable library in his backpack.

(Source: The Rising Nepal)